Rio Chiropractic Congress – A Huge Success!
By Maria DiDanieli
May 16, Toronto,
ON – In the biggest event in the history of
chiropractic in Latin America, over 900 delegates attended the 11th Biennial
Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic, hosted by the Brazilian
Chiropractors’ Association (ABQ) and held in Rio de Janeiro, April 6-9, 2011.
Half the attendees were
chiropractors and students from the host country of Brazil;
which now has over 600 chiropractors country-wide, and nearly 700 students
enrolled in Brazil’s
two university-based chiropractic programs. These universities, co-sponsors of
the Congress, are Feevale University in Novo Hamburgo
and the Anhembi Morumbi University (UAM) in Sao Paulo.
“Congratulations for the fantastic
Congress”, wrote Dr. Robert Gevers of Spain, praising all aspects of the
program. “Thank you for an inspiring Congress” wrote Dr. Tobias Lauritsen,
President, Swedish Chiropractic Association and “I had a truly unforgettable
experience”, says Canadian student Fabio Levi in his email.
The outstanding academic program
included themes of sports chiropractic, the cervical spine, the history and
current status of spinal manipulation and new models of chiropractic practice.
The first morning was devoted to
sports chiropractic, ultimately due of the passion for football and sports in Brazil. For
this reason the Congress was opened by Mr. Bernard Raijzman, former Minister of
Sport, President of the Athletes Commission for the Brazilian Olympic Committee
and one of the country’s most famous volleyball players.
Later in the morning the WFC honored
Carlos Alberto Torres, a national hero in Brazil as Captain of the 1970
football team that won the World Cup. He received a standing ovation after
calling forward his chiropractor Dr. Eliza del Grande. He explained how he came
to her on crutches suffering from a back problem, told of his quick and
complete recovery under chiropractic care when other treatment had failed, and
emphasized that regular chiropractic care was keeping him in good health.
Related meetings held during the
Congress included: the WFC’s Assembly attended by leaders representing
almost 50 international associations; the FICS Assembly attended by sports
chiropractic leaders worldwide; and the annual meeting of the World Congress
of Chiropractic Students (WCCS) attended by 115 student leaders
representing 27 chiropractic institutions around the world.
“This was the first time the WFC and
WCCS have held their congresses together”, says WFC President, Dr. Mike Flynn,
Past Chairman of the American Chiropractic Association, “and this was a great
success for both organizations”. Dr. Flynn had high praise for WCCS President,
Dr. Stanton Hom a recent graduate of the Southern California University of
Health Sciences, and his organizing team.
The WCCS represents the profession’s
future leaders. An example of the benefits of merging current and future
leaders was having WCCS delegates attend the WFC Assembly as Dr. Scott Haldeman
gave his keynote address on the future of spine care and the profession.
The WCCS delegates also heard and
participated in a discussion forum on whether or not there should be use of
medication in chiropractic practice. Keynote speakers on that subject were Dr.
Gian Joerger, President of the
Association of Swiss Chiropractors,
Dr. Dennis Richards, Past-President, Chiropractors Association of Australia,
Dr. Richard Brown, President, British Chiropractic Association, Dr. Gerard
Clum, Past-President, Life College of
Chiropractic West and Dr. Charmaine
Korporaal, Vice- President, Chiropractors’ Association of South Africa and
Program Leader, School of Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology.
“This was the best discussion of a
deeply controversial subject I have ever heard in the profession”, says Dr.
Scott Haldeman, “and all speakers for or against made superb presentations”.
Over 200 original research
presentations were received for the Congress. The first prize, named the Scott
Haldeman Award worth $10,000 and sponsored by NCMIC, went to Dr. Mette
Jensen-Stochkendahl and her colleagues from Denmark for a new randomized
controlled trial of chiropractic treatment for patients with musculoskeletal
The three other main prizes also
went to researchers outside North America: second prize to Jacqueline Trierweiler
and colleagues from Feevale University, Brazil; third prize to Dr. Allan Kalamir and
colleagues from Macquarie University in Australia;
and finally, the Private Practice Award to Dr. Marcelo Botelho and Dr. Bruno
Andrade of Brazil.
Very popular and highly successful
aspects of the Congress were one to three day seminars given by Dr. Arlan Fuhr,
(Activator Methods, leading Sponsor for the Congress), Dr. Michael Leahy (ART
Spine Certification Course), Dr. Elise Hewitt (pediatrics), Dr. Gary Jacob (McKenzie
Methods) and Dr. Kevin Jardine (kinesiology taping).
Speakers of the Thursday philosophy
forum were Dr. Gerard Clum, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, President, Parker College of
Chiropractic and Dr. Elizabeth Anderson-Peacock of Canada. For the many Brazilians
present, whose native language is Portuguese, the Congress provided
simultaneous translation for this forum and all other plenary sessions.
The final evening Gala Banquet and
Dance closed the Congress. The after dinner guest speaker was Dr. Marcos Musafir,
Past-President of the Brazilian Orthopedic Society and Brazil’s representative
on the executive of the Bone and Joint Decade. He spoke of the burden of
musculoskeletal disability, and of his
support for the chiropractic
profession and its efforts to become established and recognized in Brazil. Also
speaking impressively was Dr. Richard Visser, Minister of Health, Aruba. Dr. Visser, a Palmer West Graduate is the world’s
only chiropractor holding the office of national minister of health.
During the closing ceremonies of the
Congress Dr. Juliana Piva, ABQ President thanked the WFC and its members
worldwide for an event that had given her and many young chiropractors and
students in Brazil“renewed
confidence and enthusiasm in our continuing fight to establish the chiropractic
profession in Brazil”.
WFC President, Dr. Mike Flynn
explained that the hard work of the ABQ Congress Planning Committeemand the
remarkable warmth and hospitality of the ABQ members and Brazilians in general
had made thisas memorable as any WFC congress.
Mark Your Calendars!
The next WFC Congress is to be held
in Durban, South Africa from April 10-13,
2013. Mark those dates now and plan to join us! This will be your chance of a
lifetime to view Africa’s exotic wildlife in
the famous game parks and to experience the best of chiropractic education and
research from our world wide community.